Pay Per Click

7 steps to maximize digital marketing.

By Ben Holbrook*

More than ever, individuals are searching the web for medical and injury advice.

Last year there were more than 2.8 million searches for “lower back pain” and close variants. A mobile-optimized website and solid search engine optimization (SEO) are essential for future patients to find you. In addition, a well-run pay-per-click campaign may be a great return on investment (ROI) for your practice.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising includes a variety of platforms and mediums. Most campaigns fit into one of two categories: Google Ads or social media advertising. This article will outline general information about PPC as well as explain how to maximize the results from your campaign.


In a PPC campaign, you pay Google to have them list your site at the top of the organic search listings. When someone clicks on your ad, you pay the current cost per click. Once your budget for the day is depleted, Google ceases to run your ads until your budget resets the following day. There are several different types of Google Ads, including search ads, local search ads, and remarketing.

Google search ads are perhaps the most commonly recognized form of pay-per-click advertisements. These ads are displayed above or below Google search results in response to a user search. With the PPC model, you only pay when they click on your ad. To set up a search ad campaign, you write your ad copy, select keywords, and set your daily budget. Getting the most out of your ads requires additional fine-tuning to maximize your ROI.

Local search ads are a specialized subset of search ads. These location-focused ads target users searching for services near you on Google or Google Maps. Like search ads, they are charged on a cost-per-click basis. Since the default for Google Ads is a national campaign, it is best to customize your location targeting in Google Ads. The Google Ads console offers a variety of geotargeting tools that enable you to raise bids or show specific ads to targeted locations.


Per Google’s official definition, “Remarketing is a way to connect with people who previously interacted with your website or mobile app. It allows you to strategically position your ads in front of these audiences as they browse Google or its partner websites, thus helping you increase your brand awareness or remind those audiences to make a purchase.”

Remarketing is a valuable tool to be used within both social media and PPC campaigns. Most marketers fail to implement cross channel remarketing, which can significantly improve results. Directing past website visitors to robust social media accounts can assist in converting more visitors or improve brand awareness. Perhaps the most important element of administering any remarketing strategy is your ability to regularly test conversion rates for cross channel landing pages within your remarketing campaigns.

Social Media Ads

There are a wide variety of ads available on Facebook and its associated platforms. These ads vary in format and destination (where the ad will be shown). Facebook provides you with the option to define your audience based on basic demographics, location, interest, and more. Unlike Google Ads, Facebook ads don’t target an individual’s search, so social media ads are often best suited for remarketing strategies.

How Can I Get the Most Out of PPC?

While PPC can be easy to implement, rushing into the process may yield less than optimal results if you don’t have a plan prior to starting. By looking at the following tips, you should be able to launch an effective PPC campaign that will bring new visitors to your website and new patients to your clinic.

1. Know your target audience:

Always know who you’re aiming to reach through paid search. When choosing keywords and creating ad copy, select the words and phrases that your audience is likely to search for and write copy that speaks to their needs. Be sure the content on your landing page aligns with these keywords as well. Provide clear singular messages that will resonate with patients and use consistent call to action buttons on your ads and pages.

2. Know your desired outcome:

Determine what you would like your user to do once they click on your paid search ad. Most clinics will choose between a “call now” or “request an appointment online” as the primary call to action. Drive visitors to a landing page that encourages them to schedule or call for an appointment.

3. Measure results:

Ensure you have a way to measure success before launching your campaign. Tracking referrals by asking patients how they found your practice is essential to determine your ROI. Ongoing analysis of your campaign metrics will reveal ads and keywords you may want to discontinue or rework depending on their performance.

4. Dump the default settings:

Both Google Ads and social advertising platforms are set up to be easy to navigate. Create an ad, choose target words, and set a budget. Then you’re good to go, right? The reality is, it takes some fine-tuning to get the most bang for your buck.

5. Merge PPC advertising and social media marketing:

There is something to be said for those who are successful in implementing a single online marketing strategy. By implementing a single strategy, you can focus on the results of each initiative and judge return on investment for that initiative. Marketers that leverage multiple platforms, however, can utilize PPC advertising combined with social media remarketing to maximize brand awareness, website traffic, and most importantly, new patient referrals.

6. Gather data:

When used together, PPC and social media campaigns can become valuable tools for providing detailed analytics reports and showing the correlation between the two digital mediums. Headlines or keywords can be tested across multiple channels and implemented within Google Ads and social media campaigns.

7. Research competitors:

Observe your competition on social media and PPC campaigns. What are they doing well? What similar approaches are you currently using that are driving results? Search within competitor trends to improve on current techniques or implement new strategies. Analysis of competitor social media and PPC campaigns will bring valuable insight into your own business and target audiences.

A comprehensive marketing strategy should target referrals from physicians, past patients, and internet searches. If you are looking to promote your practice and generate new patients in the upcoming year, consider adding a PPC campaign to your marketing plan.

Ben Holbrook is a digital advertising and website specialist at 3 Plains Design and Marketing. He can be reached at

*The author has a vested interest in this subject.

Copyright © 2018, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.

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